Patient Portal Roll-Out at the William F. Ryan Community Health Center: How to Improve Usage?

Client: William F. Ryan Community Health Center
Faculty: Amy Goldman and Roger Kropf
Team: Natalie Barragan, Errol Pierre, Chetan Prabhudesai, Lesley Slade, Lisa Tran
Year: 2013

The William F. Ryan Community Health Center (Ryan Center) is a Federally Qualified Health Center providing care to low-income and underserved patients throughout Manhattan. The Ryan Center recently added a portal for patients to access health records electronically, and is evaluating ways to improve patient activation and engagement. The Capstone team’s project was to evaluate contributing factors to patient portal participation, and make recommendations for portal functions and rollout. The team first assembled patient focus groups to discuss portal accessibility, features, and suggestions for improvement. The results of these focus groups led to the development of survey questions distributed to a wider patient population. Similar survey questions were asked to physicians and providers at the Ryan Center. As a result of this project, the Ryan Center will be able to improve portal features; develop a strategy to increase usage, patient adherence, and the average acuity of in-person health visits; and be closer to meeting federal “meaningful use” standards.